wildlife; drones; poaching

Zambia deploys drones as it ramps up efforts against poaching

Poaching has reached dire levels across Africa and Zambia has raised the anti-poaching ante by deploying drones to conduct surveillance in its national parks.

Zambian Tourism Minister Charles Banda says the drones will be especially useful to curb poaching in hard to reach areas.

“The use of drones fits into getting tough on wildlife poaching by coordinating efforts in protecting our game parks, especially in unreachable areas,” Banda said.

He added that Zambia is struggling to contain poaching despite progress made in containing the scourge. Desperately under-funded, Zambia needs private donors and organisations for support to stem poaching, which has led to the extinction of the country’s black rhinos.

John Scanlon, the Secretary-general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), says poaching has reached a crisis point, needing smart ways to combat it.

He says local communities will be instrumental in protecting wildlife in the medium and long term but the animals have to survive the current crisis.

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